Glenn Fitting was quiet, but his smile drew people to him.
It started with his mouth but quickly took over the face of the 48-year-old Eatonville man and was always accompanied by a warm chuckle.
It’s what persuaded his future wife to hand over her phone number after meeting him in the parking lot of his work. It’s what assured his friends he was always willing to help. It’s what made children try to adopt him as a play pal. It’s also what his loved ones will miss the most.
Fitting’s smile now exists only in cherished memories and photographs.
He died Wednesday after apparently suffering a heart attack and losing control of his Ford pickup truck, crossing the center line of state Route 7 and smashing head-on into another truck carrying two adults and four children.
Fitting died at the scene. The driver of the other truck, 34-year-old Sara Harris, was in critical condition Thursday. Douglas Harris, 37; Payton Maples, 4; and Wyatt Harris, 3, were listed in satisfactory condition Friday. McKinzie Harris, 7, was listed in serious condition Friday. Nevea Fawcett, 8, was treated and released after the crash. All are from Puyallup.
Fitting’s former wife, Patti Anderson, said the family is devastated to lose him, but she’s grateful he never found out he hurt others when his truck crashed at state Route 7 and 316th Street East.
“That alone probably would have killed him,” she said Friday. “He was a wonderful man, sweet and extremely intelligent. He would do anything for anybody.”
Washington State Patrol troopers said Fitting called a friend just before 10 a.m. Wednesday to complain about chest and back pains. He made a plan to meet the friend at a nearby hospital but didn’t make it very far.
Fitting grew up in Orting, learning how to shoot a bow and arrow when he was young. His family said that by age 10, Fitting could shoot down a penny his father tossed into the air.
He worked as a mechanic at Boeing for much of his life and enjoyed fixing old cars in his spare time. He was more of a collector though. He had an entire room devoted to his collection of Johnny Lightning toy cars, which number more than 5,000. He also collected Lego sculptures, which were scattered throughout his house.
The thing Anderson most wants people to know is that Fitting was an “exceptional father” to Justin, 25, and Brandi, 21.
He got up with them in the middle of the night, never complained about changing diapers and nearly potty trained Brandi in a day.
Anderson can’t stop thinking about how he showered their lives with love.
And it makes her smile.
Stacia Glenn: 253-597-8653